- MCAD/MCAE Industry View, A September 2011 Update

Commentary: MCAD/MCAE Industry View - A September 2011 Update

by Dr. Russ Henke

Henke Associates

Approaching 50!!

Approaching 50?
Years of age? Hardly! Your writer wishes! Been there, done that. A Golden Wedding Anniversary? Now that’s still possible, but not for awhile. Years since his first college degree? Getting warmer!

But this article in not about your writer, although there are several inter-connections. Rather, it’s about 2013 and the year the MCAE Company now named MSC.Sofware turns 50 years of age.



Yes, the very same structural analysis software vendor that the writer has included in his quarterly MCAD/MCAE Commentaries since those electronic postings began in 2003 on IBSystems’ MCADCafe.com. Yes, that MSC, known in the 60’s as the MacNeal Schwendler Corporation, the company that developed NASTRAN, the analysis software that underpinned the first US landing on the Moon in 1969, as well as countless automotive and aerospace vehicles ever since.

Not only that, MSC has recently been identified as one of the first ten software companies ever! See this article from Maximum PC, 4000 Shoreline Ct. Suite 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080:




Where It All Began: The 10 Original Software Companies

Posted 06/28/2011 at 12:47 PM | by Gord Goble





Earlier, the writer mentioned MSC connections. Well, MSC/NASTRAN was one of the very first structural analysis software codes licensed by SDRC when the writer first formed the SDRC Computer Operations consulting and software development business of the then-tiny SDRC enterprise in 1970 (ANSYS was the other licensed code). While SDRC subsequently developed many of its own commercially-successful software suites in the 70’s and 80’s, both MSC/NASTRAN and ANSYS remained at the center of SDRC’s renowned CAE consulting business with top automobile, aerospace, construction equipment, farm equipment , machine tools, etc., suppliers for decades.


Dr. Henke speaking at an SDRC
Executive Seminar in the 70’s



SDRC is now part of Siemens PLM Software, within the Siemens Industry Automation Division.

Later, your writer served on the MSC Board of Directors in 1995-96,



while founder Richard H. MacNeal was still the CEO. MacNeal's career spanned state-of-the art advances in numerous technologies, including digital and analog computing techniques; the dynamics of airplanes, helicopters, spacecraft, and missiles; and structural analysis. MacNeal developed most of the mathematical techniques and procedures for structural analysis that are basic to the capabilities of the NASTRAN computer program—one of the leading programs on the market in the area of computational solid mechanics. For his work on NASTRAN, MacNeal received a Certification of Recognition from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1974.


Dr. Henke addressing the
MSC BOD in the 90’s



In June of 1996, your writer became a business consultant to Richard MacNeal’s successor Tom Curry for about a year, before leaving to pursue other consulting clients.  Dr. MacNeal retired from MSC in early 1997.

More Recent Developments

By the time 2008 and 2009 rolled around, the then-current MSC.Software management found company revenues dwindling, with profits disappearing along with many of its customers.

The MSC Board put the company up for sale.

To cut to the heart of the matter, on July 07, 2009 the BOD of MSC.Software announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with affiliates of Symphony Technology Group (STG) under which a company controlled by STG would acquire all of MSC's outstanding shares in a one-step cash merger transaction. This acquisition of MSC.Software by STG was finally consummated on October 14, 2009.

Soon a new CEO was named, industry veteran Dominic Gallello, who had been in discussions with the MSC BOD before STG entered the picture.

CEO Gallello

Dominic Gallello is an established leader who brought to MSC a deep background in design software. Early in his career, he spent 11 years at Intergraph, leading that company's businesses in both China and Japan. Following his time with Intergraph, Gallello spent 10 years at Autodesk, serving as EVP Asia/Pacific, establishing and running the high growth Mechanical Division and later served as EVP for all design and engineering related products. Throughout his career, Gallello has established a track record of building great products, driving an intense customer focus and building global brands. Dominic holds both BA and MBA degrees from Monmouth University. 

As a telling anecdote of the kind of respect Dominic has for his predecessors, a few months after he became CEO himself, Dominic sought out Dick MacNeal in early 2010, and made a brief video on February 18, 2010 with Dick for the benefit of current MSC personnel, most of whom had never met their company’s founder.  This 13-minute video interview may be seen and heard at:


MCAD/MCAE Commentary Coverage after MSC privatization

While the MCAD/MCAE Commentary was no longer privy to the financials of this now-private company after October 2009, we continued to watch the progress of MSC from afar and published news stories and covered personnel additions each quarter about MSC, not only out of interest in the personal career of Mr. Gallello, but also because we have confidence that one day MSC will again emerge as a public company.

Recent Contact

A few weeks ago, the writer was invited to MSC in Costa Mesa, CA to attend its upcoming MSC Software Users Conference on October 4-6, 2011. The writer responded favorably to the invitation, as Conference attendance would have afforded him a chance to get updated on MSC’s turnaround progress and also to meet face-to-face with his old acquaintance Dominic Gallello again. Alas, scheduling conflicts will preclude the writer’s attendance at the User’s Conference, so he arranged instead for a telephone interview with Dominic, to which Dominic readily agreed despite Dominic’s hectic schedule. The gist of that very recent telephone interview follows.

Telephonic Interview August 26, 2011

EDA WEEKLY: Thanks very much for taking the time for this interview. To get underway, what were the circumstances that led you to join MSC.Software back in 2009?

MR. GALLELLO: I was already being recruited in the spring of 2009 for the MSC.Software leadership position by the then-current Board of MSC, after the previous management team had departed. The folks from the Symphony Technology Group (STG) had not yet become involved. Once STG entered the loop, mutual interest again quickly materialized. As you well know, Russ, design software is an avocation for me, so MSC was and is a great fit. 

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Review Article
  • Good Perspective October 19, 2011
    Reviewed by 'Dennis Nagy'
    A great article on the long history and potentially bright(er) future of MSC from someone who lived through it all. Russ's and my paths crossed many times in that history so I am thankful to Russ for taking the time to write this and to include a good interview with Dominic as the "punch line."

      One person found this review helpful.

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